Byron Rugomoka and Hakim Mawanda are currently in the right position to keep their hopes alive for a title defense following their podium finish in the Pearl of Africa Rally last weekend. 

The reigning national rally champion got his strategy right to stay within the fight for the top spots. 

Rugomoka salvaged some pace early on in the event to put him at an advantage when the initial rally leaders retired on day one. He would finish the first leg in second position overall. 

Byron Rugomoka | Credit: John Batanudde

An attempt to fight for victory against Duncan Mubiru on the final day fell short, restricting him to the second position overall. 

“This year’s Pearl was a great event. Although we faced a few mechanical challenges losing a bit of time, we enjoyed the stages because they were so fast and top of it all, dry. It would have been harder on wet as earlier anticipated.

“We had the opportunity to fight for the win, but we realized it was impossible to catch up on Duncan in the few stages remaining. But a second is equally important. It is our best finish in pearl,” said Rugomoka.

The podium finish puts Rugomoka third on the NRC leaderboard with 160 points, 33 points behind leader Yasin Nasser. 

“Retaining the title is our target this year. We do not intend to let it pass without fighting. Pearl has given us great results, now the search heads to the next round,” he added. 

Meanwhile, the Pearl Rally was won by Duncan Mubiru with Yasin Nasser sealing the podium in third position.

The next round of the National Rally Championship heads to Hoima on the weekend of 9-11 June. 

Provisional Top 3 NRC Drivers’ Standings

  1. Yasin Nasser – 198 points
  2. Duncan Mubiru – 173
  3. Byron Rugomoka – 160

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